67-68 Cornhuskers
(Authentic Reproduction)



Fans had perhaps quickly and understandably become spoiled after Devaney's second year at the NU helm as he won so big and so quickly but they were shocked by two back-to-back 6-4 seasons, now considered sub par. With fifteen of twenty-two starters gone from the 1966 team, the drop was predictable and soph QB Frank Patrick at a tall 6'7" could only find solace in setting new sophomore records while losing four games. With All Big 8 FB Dick Davis who led the team in rushing, soph HB Joe Orduna, and two way back Ben Gregory, there wasn't enough punch to shine offensively although the Wayne Meylan anchored defense, augmented by DE Jerry Patton did their part in posting four shutouts and leading the nation in total defense. A new helmet design, used through the '69 season, featured the standard Husker white shell and red center stripe but the 3" red player numerals were moved to the back of the helmet, where they have remained to this current day, and replaced by a staggered red NU on each side of the helmet. Despite the further maturation of QB Patrick, he got off to a shaky start and was pulled for senior Ernie Sigler and Orduna again provided solid running but the offense just wasn't there. LB Ken Geddes who had a solid if not spectacular NFL career with the Rams and Seahawks was the defensive gem but this second 6-4 record had to be improved and Devaney had a way to do it. Although Osborne was not given an official title, he became the de facto offensive coordinator for the 1969 season as Devaney realized that the lack of offensive production was the only impediment to Big 8 dominance. Thus began the Huskers' season, with a more diversified attack that resulted in consistent scoring rather than spectacular offensive fireworks and it was enough to garner a share of the Big 8 throne with Missouri and a 45-6 Sun Bowl stomping of Georgia. It was also enough to allow Devaney to tell Osborne that he would have the head coaching position when he decided to step down and be the full time AD.

If interested in any of these NU helmets please click on the photos below.